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Three on FIFA Referees List

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The Barbados Football Association has added another FIFA Assistant Referee to the crop. 

Angelo Doyle was announced as a new inclusion on the 2022 FIFA International Referees List, along with stalwarts Tonia Deane and Kevon “Inches” Clarke. However, Shannon Gibson will sit the next year out to fully recuperate following a hamstring injury in 2019.

Referees Manager Mark “Bob” Forde said he was thrilled with having another FIFA official added to the list, and was hopeful 2022 would see the return of games to keep the referees engaged.

“Over the next few months, we need to ensure we maintain all the FIFA officials in terms of their technical training with the help of our technical and fitness instructors. It is going to be a limited amount of on-field practice because of the COVID-19 situation. There’re no local tournaments and at the international level there will be no male tournaments until March/April when the Nations League returns,” he explained.

But he was confident that Deane would get some much-needed field time under her boots heading into the Women’s World Cup 2023.  

“In terms of the women, we have Tonia who is still shortlisted for the Women’s World Cup 2023 in New Zealand/Australia. We will definitely keep up with her technical and fitness training, and hopefully, she should be going overseas to do some games because she needs to be assessed on her performances heading into the World Cup. There is a lot of women’s football starting from February and we expect she should be going to some of these tournaments and at the end get selected for the World Cup,” he said.

However, Forde said he was sad to see Gibson go this year, but noted the importance of her making a full recovery. Late in 2019, Gibson tore both of her hamstrings during a fitness test and has been out since then.

“We will be losing Shannon this year. She has been injured for the last two years. FIFA has recommended taking her off of the list for next year so she would have time to recuperate from the injury and re-nominate her for 2023. We think that is the best thing for her because her injury is not healing as fast as we would have hoped. I think this year where she does not have to concentrate on passing fitness tests to make the FIFA list would give her time to recuperate. We will be working on her injury to ensure she is fully prepared and ready for 2023,” he said.

Forde, a long-standing referee with over four decades of experience, said they had also nominated another referee who was not successful.

“We will continue to work with that referee and have the technical and fitness instructors work with that individual for re-nomination in 2023. We’re pretty hopeful after we receive certain information from FIFA, that the work done with the team would have that referee ready for selection in 2023,” he said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined some referees in terms of training, they have all managed to keep up with their own personal training. However, Forde was looking forward to seeing them return to training as a unit when training resumes next month.

“We are hoping, depending on the COVID-19 situation, to start training with all referees in January. Presently we only have training for the FIFA referees, the track officials, and tier officials. Once we get the all-clear, we want to restart with everyone. If we don’t get the go-ahead we will have training with the same group again,” he said. 

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